Mangaluru: BJP MLA KS Eshwarappa, who represents the Shivamogga constituency in the Karnataka assembly, recently made controversial remarks during a speech in Mangaluru. As he was speaking, the call to prayer, or Azaan, began playing in the background, prompting Eshwarappa to criticize the use of loudspeakers for religious purposes.
“This (Azaan) is a headache for me,” Eshwarappa said. “Does Allah hear prayers only if one screams on a microphone? Is Allah deaf? This issue must be resolved soon.”
Eshwarappa’s comments have been widely criticized, with many accusing him of religious insensitivity and intolerance. The use of loudspeakers for the call to prayer is a common practice in many Muslim countries and communities, and is seen as a way of ensuring that the call is heard by as many people as possible.
However, some non-Muslims, like Eshwarappa, have expressed discomfort with the use of loudspeakers, arguing that it disrupts their peace and quiet. This has led to debates and even legal challenges in some places, with some courts ruling in favor of restricting the use of loudspeakers during certain hours of the day.
While Eshwarappa’s comments have sparked controversy, they are not entirely surprising given the increasingly polarized political climate in India. The BJP, which is currently in power at the national level, has been accused of promoting Hindu nationalism and marginalizing religious minorities, including Muslims.
The party’s supporters argue that they are simply promoting national unity and cultural pride, but critics say that their policies and rhetoric are discriminatory and divisive. Eshwarappa’s remarks may be seen as another example of this trend, and could further fuel tensions between different religious communities in the country.
In any case, it is important to remember that freedom of religion is a fundamental right in India, and that all citizens have the right to practice their faith in a way that is meaningful to them. While there may be legitimate concerns about noise pollution and public disturbance, these issues should be addressed in a way that respects the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their religion or background.
As for Eshwarappa, it remains to be seen whether he will face any consequences for his remarks. Some have called for him to apologize or resign, while others have defended his right to express his opinions. Whatever the outcome, this incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges of promoting religious harmony and tolerance in a diverse and complex society like India.
Over 40 Arrested in Connection with Stone-Pelting Incident in Shivamogga
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah announced over 40 arrests in connection with the recent Shivamogga stone-pelting incident during a press briefing on Monday.
Shivamogga: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah addressed the media on Monday, revealing that over 40 individuals have been apprehended in relation to the recent stone-pelting incident that occurred in Shivamogga. Legal actions have been initiated against those involved.
Tensions flared up in Ragigudda, near the Shantinagar area of Shivamogga city in Karnataka, on Sunday night during an Eid Milad procession. Reports emerged of a mob hurling stones at houses and vehicles, resulting in damage and injuries to several participants in the religious procession. Six people, including two policemen, sustained injuries and were subsequently transported to the district hospital.
In response to the unrest, Rapid Action Force (RAF) teams were dispatched to the scene, and police resorted to mild lathi charges to disperse the crowd.
Following these events, Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was imposed in specific areas of the city to maintain law and order.
The outbreak of violence stemmed from protests earlier on Sunday, arising from the police’s decision to obscure a cutout of Tipu Sultan, the former ruler of Mysuru, with a curtain. Allegedly, the cutout depicted Tipu Sultan engaged in actions deemed offensive by certain sections of the community. It was reported that paint had been smeared on the ruler’s cutout, sparking protests in Ragigudda.
Shivamogga Superintendent of Police GK Mithun Kumar visited the scene and engaged in discussions with the protestors to ease tensions. However, the situation escalated, leading to the stone-pelting incident. The exact sequence of events remains unclear, with some media outlets suggesting that rumors of stone-pelting at the procession by outsiders in a different location may have incited the stone-throwing in the Ragi Gudda area.
SP GK Mithun Kumar stated, “Some miscreants pelted stones during the Eid Milad procession. Some vehicles and houses were damaged. Based on videos and information, individuals have already been arrested in connection with the incident. Section 144 has been imposed in the area as a precautionary measure, and a case has been registered. The situation is now under control, except for Shanti Nagar and Ragi Gudda. Stringent action will be taken against the culprits.”
Local authorities have urged residents to avoid spreading rumors on social media platforms.
CM Siddaramaiah assured that the situation in Shivamogga is currently peaceful, and the police are taking all necessary measures to maintain order. He emphasized that disturbing religious events and engaging in stone-pelting is unlawful, and his government will not tolerate such incidents, promising to suppress them.
Shivamogga BJP MLA S N Channabasappa visited the houses in the Ragi Gudda area damaged during the stone-pelting and alleged the involvement of outsiders. He expressed concerns about the city becoming a hub for those seeking to spread terror.
To ensure peace and security, a substantial police presence has been deployed in the communally sensitive city, with at least 12 platoons of District Armed Reserve (DAR), two platoons of RAF, two platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP), and 2,500 police officers stationed across the city.
Shivamogga has witnessed previous incidents of communal tension, including the murder of Bajrang Dal activist Harsha in February 2022 and a series of stabbing incidents related to the display of banners and posters featuring the controversial freedom fighter Veer Savarkar.
JD(S) Loses Secular Status by Aligning with BJP: CM Siddaramaiah
Karnataka CM questions JD(S) on secular claim post BJP alliance for 2024 elections.
Chamarajanagar: Karnataka’s Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, took a pointed jab at the JD(S), led by former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, on Wednesday. He questioned the party’s claim to be secular after forming an electoral alliance with the BJP for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The JD(S) recently made the decision to join forces with the BJP following a meeting between its leader and former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy (the son of Deve Gowda), Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP National President J.P. Nadda in New Delhi.
Addressing reporters in Konanakere district, Siddaramaiah remarked, “They have now forged an alliance with the BJP for the elections, so what should we call them? The name suggests ‘secular,’ but are they still secular? Can we believe what they claim? Even after aligning with a communal party, can they still be considered secular? Let them align with the BJP or anyone else; we don’t object to that. But they shouldn’t claim to be secular; that’s all. The Janata Dal should not portray itself as a secular party.”
JD(S) had previously formed governments in coalition with both the BJP and Congress, serving for 20 months from January 2006 and 14 months from May 2018, with Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister on both occasions.
Earlier in the day, Kumaraswamy criticized Congress leaders for suggesting that Deve Gowda had proven JD(S) to be the “B-team” of the BJP by forming an alliance with them. He argued that had he chosen to align with the BJP, as per the invitation from Shah, instead of with the Congress after the 2018 Assembly polls, he could have governed for a full five years.
Accusing the Congress of undermining secular forces across the country, Kumaraswamy alleged that they even attempted to “eliminate” the JD(S) after forming an alliance with the party. He pointed out that the JD(S) did not expel Siddaramaiah from the party, countering claims that in 2004, Siddaramaiah had attempted to meet with the then BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu in Chennai to explore an understanding and form a government.
In response, Siddaramaiah clarified, “I have never met Venkaiah Naidu. It’s true that I met (L.K.) Advani. Advani was formerly part of the Janata Party; that’s how I know him, and I did meet him.”
Muslim Leaders Resign from JD(S) Following BJP Alliance
JD(S) joins BJP-led NDA; Muslim leaders, including Syed Shafiullah, resign from party roles in response.
Karnataka:The JD(S) has officially joined the BJP-led NDA in preparation for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections next year. In response to this development, senior Muslim leaders, including Syed Shafiullah, who held the position of the party’s senior state vice-president, have resigned from all party positions.
This move by the JD(S) is part of the BJP’s efforts to reconfigure its electoral strategy in various states, both for the forthcoming Assembly polls in five states and the imminent general election. The JD(S), under the leadership of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, has affirmed its alliance with the NDA and emphasized its collaboration with the saffron party to challenge the Congress in Karnataka during the Lok Sabha polls.
Syed Shafiullah, the Senior State Vice President of JD(S), decided to resign from the party due to the JD(S)’s decision to form an alliance with the BJP. In his resignation letter, he expressed his commitment to the party’s secular principles and cited a previous instance when the JD(S) had aligned with the BJP to form the state government. He also noted his previous decision to stay outside the party during that period.
It’s worth mentioning that the JD(S) had previously formed coalition governments with both the BJP and Congress independently, with Kumaraswamy serving as chief minister for 20 months from January 2006 and 14 months from May 2018, respectively.
Shafiullah explained his resignation by stating, “Since the party’s senior leaders are now choosing to align with the BJP, I have no choice but to submit my resignation to the party’s Senior Vice President Office of the State and also my Primary Membership of the Party.”
According to a report by Deccan Herald, several other prominent figures, including former minister N M Nabi, former New Delhi representative Mohid Altaf, youth wing president NM Noor, and former minority wing chief Nasir Hussain Ustad, are also leaving the regional party.
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